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Andhra CM for lockdown in ‘red zones’ only, to stand by PM’s decision

During the course of the PM’s interaction with chief ministers across the country, Jagan Reddy appraised him of the measures taken in the state and the impact of coronavirus on farming activities in the state.

Amaravati: Even as he favoured continuation of the lockdown in the state’s red and orange zones, and relaxation in areas unaffected by COVID-19, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, on Saturday, assured his support to implement Prime Minister’s decision on the matter.

During the course of the PM’s interaction with chief ministers across the country, Jagan Reddy appraised him of the measures taken in the state and the impact of coronavirus on farming activities in the state.

Pointing out that the state is largely agrarian contributing to 35 per cent of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) and employing nearly 65 per cent of the workforce, Jagan Reddy apprehended that lakhs of farm-families stare at destitution, if the present circumstances continued.

Speaking about the state’s COVID-19 strategy, the Chief Minister said 141 clusters have been identified for focused containment measures. He pointed out that of the 676 mandals in the state, 37 are red zones or severely affected areas, and 44 are orange zones which are partially affected.

In all, 81 mandals are categorised as red and orange zones. The remaining mandals are unaffected and denoted as green zones, he explained to the Prime Minister.

“Lockdown should be limited to red zones. Restrictions can be continued in places with mass gathering. Social distancing can be continued in other places. While I have given my opinion, the country should move ahead with one single strategy. Whatever strategy you suggest, we will go ahead with it,” he assured the Prime Minister.

Drawing parallel to the influenza epidemic of 1918, which affected India’s economy for nearly two years, the Chief Minister said that India should prepare for a long-haul strategy now. He called attention to the state’s lack of storage for agriculture and aqua produce.

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